Why fans are booing Croatia defender in World Cup semi-final

Yahoo Sport UK
Croatia’s Domagoj Vida beats Raheem Sterling to the ball, but can’t escape from the unforgiving Russian fans
Croatia’s Domagoj Vida beats Raheem Sterling to the ball, but can’t escape from the unforgiving Russian fans

England were very much the ‘home’ team at the Luzkniki Stadium in their World Cup semi-final as Russian fans continued to turn on Croatia, with defender Domagoj Vida the subject of their wrath.

Pony-tailed Vida looks every inch a villain from a James Bond movie, and certainly plays that role well in the minds of Russians, who mercilessly booed him in the first half.

Aside being knocked out by Croatia, Russian fans are bitter that he was filmed shouting “Glory to Ukraine” in a now-viral clip celebrating his team’s win.

READ MORE: It was definitely no political message – Vida explains video

READ MORE: Croatia’s Vida free to face England after FIFA warning

READ MORE: Croatia sack Vukojevic over Vida video

The video of the former Dynamo Kyiv player declaring the anti-Russian slogan alongside his former teammate Ognjen Vukojević has circulated online and raosed the ire of Russian fans.

This was the SECOND time that Vida has sent a highly-charged political message, following his “Belgrade burn!” ravings after his country’s quarter-final win over Russia.

FIFA are set to investigate Vida’s latest video, having issued the 29-year-old with a formal warning just three days ago for breaching its guidelines on issuing political statements.

Vida’s former team-mate Vukojevic, was sent home in disgrace on Monday and fined 15,000 Swiss francs (£11,385) by Fifa for shouting: “This victory is for Dynamo and for Ukraine.”

The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) sought to limit the damage caused by the first video on Monday by apologising to the Russian public, adding in a statement: “Ognjen Vukojevic and Domagoj Vida likewise apologise for their statements, which were in no way intended to have political connotations, yet which unfortunately left room for such interpretations.”

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